Get Carter

Up-front and uncompromising. Misogyny, corruption and violence hang round Carter like a cloud.

Article by Alasdair Gillon | 17 Mar 2006
Jonathan Holloway's stage version of the 1970 Ted Lewis novel (and subsequent film) 'Get Carter' is up-front and uncompromising. Jack Lord, in the title role, levels a shotgun at the audience and splatters stage blood all over the set. Misogyny, corruption and violence hang round him like a cloud. But for all the grim relish of atmosphere, there are obstacles this production doesn't quite overcome. Squeezed into two hours, the storyline relies heavily on dialogue, which is duly crammed with reference to a host of ganglords, pimps and past misdeeds. It's necessary to set the audience straight about Carter's vendetta, but rapid flitting between scenes early on means that lines are clipped, and things feel rushed until the second half, when Lord's Jack Carter – previously completely rigid – can suddenly shine as a man damaged by rage and violence. Ultimately, the drama breathes, but not without difficulties. [Alasdair Gillon]
Brunton Theatre, Edinburgh, 26 January.